PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers softball team (14-36, 4-16 BIG EAST) hung tough against 19th-ranked Louisville (39-8, 17-3 BIG EAST), but dropped a pair of games (7-3 and 3-0) May 6 at the RU Softball Complex.
The Cardinals got on the scoreboard in the second inning of game one with three runs, highlighted by a two-RBI double to left-center from Kassie Stanfill. Lacy Wood’s two-run homer to dead center gave UofL a 5-0 advantage in the third.
The Scarlet Knights exhibited excellent patience at the plate, producing three runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman Amanda Heller (Belle Mead, NJ) led off with a double to left-center, followed by a walk for classmate Brittany Loisel (Gilbert, AZ) and a popout by Amanda Shaw (Yorba Linda, CA). Junior Kristin Madoch’s (Glenview, IL) single up the middle loaded the bases with one out, and freshman Kaitlyn Valiante (Mt. Laurel, NJ) took advantage, battling through her at-bat to draw a walk and force in RU’s first run. A fielder’s choice then led to an out at the plate, but freshman Kim Hodges (Houston, TX) walked to score another run, chasing Louisville ace Catherine Bishop (25-5, 0.69 ERA). Mallory Miller’s (Anaheim, CA) walk during the next at-bat pulled Rutgers to within two at 5-3.
The two sides traded scoreless innings until the top of the seventh, when Louisville tacked on two insurance runs, the final scores for a 7-3 final.
Kady Garrick (10-2) earned the victory for the Cardinals, allowing one run while striking out four in 4.1 innings. Senior Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) gave up four earned runs in three innings (5-10), while junior Jessica Crosby (Sedro-Woolley, WA) scattered three hits in four innings, giving up two unearned runs.
In game two, a solo shot down the left-field line gave the Cards a 1-0 advantage in the second inning of what turned out to be a pitchers’ duel. The score remained the same until the top of the seventh, when Louisville used four hits to plate a total of two runs and take a 3-0 lead.
Freshman Christina Yard (Hillsborough, NJ) pitched well for the Scarlet Knights, scattering nine hits and striking out six while allowing the three runs (5-12). Bishop threw the complete-game shutout for the Cardinals (26-5).
Rutgers will wrap up its 2006 campaign Sunday, May 7, against South Florida. The doubleheader will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the RU Softball Complex and will serve as Senior Day for RU.